Anna Burger has spent nearly her entire 40-year career working for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) joining in 1972. Labeled as the “Queen of Labor,” Burger was elected an executive vice president and the secretary-treasurer of the SEIU in 1990. She was credited as the “union leader… responsible for the political and issue organizing strategy” in Washington, D.C. for the main office of SEIU, earning her the title as “the most powerful woman in the labor movement.”
The Barack Obama White House described Burger as a major player in the progressive movement. She was among the union leaders who helped to move unions away from conservative positions to a “bastion of the Democratic left.”  Burger served on President Barack Obama’s “Economic Recovery Advisory Board,” a left-wing group of economists, academics, business and labor leaders tasked with helping to guide the president’s economic recovery policies.
In 2005, Burger helped to form and was selected to lead the union political coalition Change to Win, which intended to revitalize the union movement by counteracting the AFL-CIO’s weak priorities and strategy.  Additionally during 2005, Burger helped to create the Democracy Alliance liberal funders’ collaborative and was later selected as the vice chair to help steer millions toward left-wing organizations.
In 2010, Burger ran for the international presidency of SEIU but withdrew from the election, giving the presidency to Mary Kay Henry. Burger then retired from active union work. Today, Burger has been keeping her political voice active, supporting liberal causes including removing President Donald Trump. She uses Twitter has her main platform to voice her liberal ideals on labor, President Trump, Planned Parenthood, and her past support for Hillary Clinton.
Burger, born in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and attended Penn State University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1972. After graduation Burger, “a liberal, antiwar feminist” began her activist career in 1972 leading “a wildcat strike of Philadelphia social workers.”
Burger worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for 38 years, eventually serving for 20 years as secretary-treasurer of the organization and chair of the Change to Win labor coalition.
As the leader of the union’s political operations she gained significant notoriety as a D.C. insider. In 2007, Fortune hailed Burger as “the most powerful woman in the labor movement,”” she was named to the Wall Street Journal’s 2007 “Top 50 Women to Watch” and Washingtonian magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2006 and 2009.
In 2010, shortly after Mary Kay Henry was chosen SEIU President over Burger in a contentious selection process, Burger left her positions as secretary-treasurer of the SEIU and chair of the labor federation Change to Win.
She currently serves as Executive Director of both the Gettysburg Project on Civic Engagement and Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School’s Sustainable Labor in Global Supply Chains program.
In 1972, Burger began her career as a “rank-and-file Pennsylvania state caseworker and union activist.” In 1984 she was elected the first female president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 668. She held that position for 14 years until 1998. During that time she also ran the statewide political program and later became SEIU’s national field director. 
In 1990 she was elected an executive vice president and the secretary-treasurer of the SEIU. In this position, Burger claims she was the “union leader… responsible for the political and issue organizing strategy” in Washington, D.C. for the main office of SEIU. Burger held the position of executive vice president for 20 years.
In 2010, Burger was the favored replacement for outgoing SEIU President Andy Stern, but she lost the election to Mary Kay Henry. The union movement newspaper In These Times blog wrote that Henry’s victory was in large part a rejection of Burger’s personal style of leadership and an expression of dissatisfaction with the direction Stern had taken. The blog reported that Burger was “widely disliked,” that “critics saw her as ‘mean’ or a ‘bully’” and that her candidacy presentations were “stiff and arrogant.”
Change to Win
In 2005, Andrew Stern, Burger, and leaders from the Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Unite Here, and the Laborers International Union of North America formed the Change to Win coalition representing a combined six million union members to advance the left-wing labor agenda, which sought to operate as a rival of the AFL-CIO.
For Burger and Stern, the creation of the coalition represented a challenge to a man, John J. Sweeney, who had been a mentor. Burger and Stern argued that AFL-CIO President Sweeney had allowed the labor movement to lose influence.
Burger was selected as Chair of the newly formed Change to Win coalition. Under Burger’s leadership, Change to Win was built to be an electoral juggernaut. Burger said that Change to Win’s “differences are with the AFL-CIO’s priorities, strategy and focus” and “the labor movement is not strong or big enough alone to win.”
However, over time concerns grew that Change to Win had failed to become the force it was envisioned. Most of the unions in Change to Win rejoined the AFL-CIO, though the Teamsters and SEIU have not. 
The Obama White House described Burger as a major player in the progressive movement.
During her career with SEIU Burger was regarded as part of a new generation of labor leaders who moved the ideological and demographic restructuring of the labor movement from more centrist policy positions to a “bastion of the Democratic left, opposed to the Iraq war, in support of women’s and gay rights, and a key backer of diversity programs and affirmative action.” 
Described as a “leading progressive voice and a trailblazing figure in the labor community,” Burger expressed the belief that the Obama was not liberal enough. She bemoaned Obama’s desire for bipartisanship proclaiming “I think we gave them [Republicans] too much space for too long and I think that that is a shame.” She also said that there were a couple of people in the White House who had been “mean to [labor],” people who she felt “at times held back when they should’ve charged forward.” 
As SEIU’s political strategist and chair of Change to Win, Burger played a large role in the labor movement’s adoption of left-wing liberal political positions. For instance Burger was regarded as “a force in pushing the union to embrace abortion rights.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign before the creation of Obamacare, Burger called for the creation of a health care plan to provide affordable healthcare to all Americans. Burger then backed President Obama’s healthcare plan before it was enacted, saying “We need healthcare reform in 2009 and we can’t wait.” Then on the night of Obamacare’s passage, Burger posted a video message to SEIU members proclaiming “we’ve won, our journey is over, we have healthcare.”
Burger has called for a path to amnesty for “millions of undocumented individuals living within our borders” and in 2006 she denounced President George W. Bush’s compromise immigration proposals, which she felt ignored 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. She proclaimed, “our nation needs to tackle this issue head on, not turn a blind eye.”
On labor issues, Burger pushed for radical leftist union privileges including the so-called
“Employee Free Choice Act.” This “card-check bill” considered in 2009-2010 would have forced employees to openly declare support for a union rather than voting by secret ballot. Burger argued “collective bargaining could help people losing their jobs and their health insurance in these hard times.”
Burger pushed for an increased minimum wage standard she said, “minimum wage legislation is essential to bring some measure of fairness and justice to workers who toil at the bottom of the wage scale.” She voiced displeasure against tax cuts for businesses and the fact that CEOs could make more money than regular employees and that an increase in minimum wage would bolster the middle class.
Also, Burger, a staunch feminist “has often championed women’s causes.” Burger stated her displeasure that legislation does not “support working women the way [they] should,” adding “we’re (the United States) the only industrial nation that doesn’t have paid maternity leave. Many businesses haven’t stepped up, so the government needs to.”
Democratic Party Insider
Burger’s work with the SEIU and Change to Win coalition gave her “the opportunity to partner with our allies in the greater progressive community.” During that time she became a major Democratic Party player.
Burger served as SEIU’s national political strategist directing the union’s political and issue organizing strategy to support Democratic candidates in political contests nationwide. 
In 2004, the SEIU claims to have run the largest labor organized political grassroots and spending program in support of Democrat John Kerry for President. The union spent over $65 million on political expenses and was the largest donor to numerous Democratic and liberal PACs. The union gave $26 million to the Democrats America Coming Together PAC, more than liberal mega-donors George Soros and the late Peter Lewis. The union also gave $1 million to the Democratic National Committee, $900k to America Votes, and $670k to Arizona United for Immigration Reform.
Additionally, in 2004, Burger was a major part of the three-headed group that served as an outside political machinery for liberals- America Coming Together, Media Fund and America Votes. 
In 2006, the SEIU claims credit for helping Democrats win majorities in the House and Senate in 2006.
Support For Obama
In 2007, future President Barack Obama spoke at the Change to Win Conference to push for universal healthcare and have a union base for workers and push the labor initiative and that he would “march with” Change to Win and their members to get their initiative complete.  In 2008 at the SEIU, Obama spoke of the work he had done with SEIU and thanked SEIU for their labor fighting to beat the republicans and “the most anti-labor administration.”
According to the Obama White House, Burger led SEIU’s grassroots election work, which helped elect President Obama. During the 2008 election, the SEIU backed Obama for the presidential nomination during the primaries against Hillary Clinton and “made more than $27 million in independent expenditures in support of Obama’s presidential campaign.” In February 2008, Anna Burger said, “Obama is the right person at the right time to lead the change we so desperately need in our country.”
Again Burger led a coalition of outside money, the Fund For America, which was geared toward attacking President Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona).
Early in Obama’s tenure, Burger said “we’ve come a long way with the election of Barack Obama, the best president of our lifetime.”
As a prominent and outspoken Obama supporter, “Burger was named to the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board,” a left-wing group of economists, academics, business and labor leaders tasked with helping to guide the president’s economic recovery policies.
Progressive Organization Leadership
In 2007, Burger worked as director to liberal advocacy group They Work For Us, which was a “liberal advocacy organization” that held Democratic members of Congress accountable to a “populist economic agenda.” Democratic operatives, including Burger, who would monitor congressional votes, and put “pressure on Democrats to follow progressive policies and criticizes those it deems too conservative.”
In 2010, Burger served on the Board of Directors for the Progressive States Network (now State Innovation Exchange), an organization, which seeks to “transform the political landscape by sparking progressive actions at the state level.”
In 2005, Burger was a founding member of the secretive Democratic funders’ organization known as the Democracy Alliance, which was started by liberal mega-donors George Soros and Rob Mckay (heir to the Taco Bell fortune). In 2006 she was selected vice chair of the organization as part of a left-wing slate of candidates who took over the organization steering its millions toward progressive operations.
In this post, Burger “served as a conduit between wealthy donors and party causes” as part of her plan to build an outside political machinery for liberals that standardized the way that progressive groups received funding.
Burger’s involvement led many to believe SEIU helps to fund the Democracy Alliance and Keith Mestrich has said as much that the “unions are very tight with the Democratic party” but would not answer questions regarding funding the alliance. Additionally, based on IRS filings in 2007 the SEIU and George Soros provided $2.5 million each to The Fund for America, a group founded by Rob Mckay, Anna Burger, and John Podesta.
Anna Burger’s ties to the community organizing group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) reach as far back as 2002, when she spoke at an ACORN conference proclaiming, “How do we save our country? Organize, radicalize, mobilize,” while lambasting against the Republican national leadership.
In 2009 ACORN became the target of federal and state investigations into a wide range of criminal activities after a very embarrassing and widely-aired homemade undercover video that showed ACORN representatives allegedly offering advice to a pair posing as a pimp and prostitute on setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.
In the fallout from the ACORN scandal, the Washington Post reported that “the SEIU and ACORN have long worked closely together, with the union paying the association more than $3.6 million in the past three years and sharing some office locations and leaders with the group” with the SEIU D.C. headquarters paying ACORN for training, voter registration and other organizing work.”
This relationship forced Burger to testify before House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee that “SEIU has also cut all ties to ACORN.”
However, Carl Horowitz director of the Organized Labor Accountability Project at the National Legal and Policy Center wrote, “when Anna Burger, renowned as the “queen of labor,” announces to a congressional panel that her union has ceased aiding ACORN, in all likelihood she’s truthful in letter but false in spirit. In theory, the SEIU could permanently cut off ACORN, and still give large sums of money to any one of its hundreds of affiliates who in turn transfer the funds back to ACORN. What Ms. Burger means is that her union has ceased direct aid to ACORN. Fully exposing the larger flow of funds will require enormous effort.”
Lobbying Probe Requests
In 2009, Americans for Tax Reform filed a formal request for an investigation into illegal lobbying activity by Anna Burger. A registered lobbyist until 2007, Anna Burger deregistered but according to LM-2 forms, Burger’s spending on politics and lobbying activity in 2008 increased by 17% compared to 2006 and 2007.
Following Burger’s SEIU presidential election defeat, Henry’s actions increased tension and caused Burger to seek new opportunity to “succeed in her effort to build an outside political machinery for liberals.”
She currently serves as Executive Director of both the Gettysburg Project on Civic Engagement, and Cornell University’s Industry and Labor Relations School’s Sustainable Labor in Global Supply Chains program.
Burger has endorsed and pushed for Moveon.org to call for “non-violent mobilization and organizing,” “asking every media outlet, corporation, and office holder” to “condemn Trump’s racism, misogyny, and xenophobia,” and “a voting renaissance” against President Trump. Additionally, Burger uses twitter has her main platform to voice her liberal ideals on labor, Planned Parenthood, and her past support for Hillary Clinton.